The U.S. Postal Service owns over 8,400 facilities where it provides services, which includes maintaining proper ventilation and filtration in these facilities to ensure they are clean and safe. Ventilation and filtration are often provided by heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in a facility. Industry standards recommend minimum ventilation rates and inspection and maintenance activities.
What We Did
Our objective was to assess Postal Service efforts to ensure proper ventilation and filtration in facilities and identify opportunities for improvement. For this audit, we statistically sampled 193 Postal Service-owned retail and delivery facilities with an interior size ranging from 1,000 to 100,000 square feet from a universe of 6,709 facilities.
- Finding #1: Communication of Ventilation and Filtration Guidance
Postal Service guidance intended to ensure proper ventilation and filtration in retail and delivery facilities did not always reach responsible personnel. The Postal Service’s communication efforts were hindered because messages to increase ventilation and improve filtration at retail and delivery facilities were not always sent directly to postmasters.
- Finding #2: Oversight of Ventilation and Filtration Activities
The Postal Service could not confirm if ventilation and filtration equipment was maintained or that filters were changed as required. Specifically, we found no process for managing and monitoring ventilation and filtration at retail and delivery facilities to improve indoor air quality. Additionally, postmasters did not always know who was responsible for ensuring ventilation and filtration equipment was properly maintained.
Source: USPS Office of Inspector General